Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SC quashes cases against Khushboo for pre-marital sex remarks

New Delhi: There was red e m p t i o n for south Indian actress K h u s h b o o on Wednesday after five long years of battling 23 cases filed across Tamil N a d u against her remarks on prevalence of pre-marital sex in Indian cities. Putting an end to her harassment, the Supreme Court quashed all proceedings pending against her in trial courts, saying the complaints woefully lacked in evidence.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan, said those who filed complaints against the 39-year-old actress were “extra-sensitive” about the remarks made by her in 2005 and had no proof that these had disturbed the peace or hurt people’s sentiments.
The Madras high court, reflecting on the hue and cry raised in Tamil Nadu over Khushboo’s controversial comments, had on April 30 last year refused to stay the proceedings in trial courts.
Khushboo had introduced herself in the SC as a “famous south Indian actress, a mother of two young children” and said in her petition that she was being harassed and victimized at the behest of people with vested interests who had filed 23 “false, frivolous and mala fide” complaints against her. She had added that her fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression could not be curtailed by such persons.
The apex court agreed with Khushboo that her comments, to a news magazine, were in response to a survey conducted about pre-marital sex in big cities in India and that it was a bona fide opinion.Khushboo had also said that her comments to the magazine had been distorted by the local media in Tamil Nadu and published in a manner that made them appear provocative and misleading.
During the hearing, the apex court had castigated the complainants and had said that there was nothing illegal in live-in relationships between adults. When her counsel, senior advocate Pinky Anand had read out a portion of her interview to a fortnightly magazine whose translated version in a Tamil newspaper had created pandemonium and led to filing of the 23 complaint cases against her, the court wanted to know from the complainants as to what was so abhorrent in her view.

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